Home > Covenant Theology > The Covenants-Chapter 4e-The Covenant of Redemption

The Covenants-Chapter 4e-The Covenant of Redemption

The contracting parties appear distinctly before your mind. This part of our subject, however, demands somewhat more of particularity.

It is plain that man could not have been one of these parties, since, as we have seen, the covenant was made before the foundation of the world, and he, of course, was not then in being. His happiness was indeed its object, but in its formation be could assuredly have had no active participation. But even had this been otherwise, his fulfillment of the necessary terms of redemption would have been impossible. None but a divine person could do this, who joining himself to our nature, could bear Almighty wrath, and “magnify the law” by a perfect obedience. Angels could not, for the same reasons, have been parties to this covenant. They excel men in the spirituality of their essence, and the extent of their powers. Still, like men, their nature is too limited. And, besides, they belong to another class of beings, who never could, either by incarnation, or in any other manner, become so related to us as to accomplish the design proposed. Who then were the parties covenanting? They were, I answer, the same who in the beginning said, “Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness.” They were God, as he has made himself known to us, in the exalted persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Truly, “The Lord our God is one Lord,” and “besides him there is no other.” But it is equally true that, for the purpose of redeeming us, he has revealed himself in the form of a glorious Trinity, all the persons of whom are “the same in essence, and equal in divine properties.” To one of these sin was in every sense as offensive as to another. The honor of each was alike engaged to demand its rebuke and punishment. The concurrence of all was, therefore, alike necessary to any expedient by which the penalty might be averted from those by whom sin should be committed. Nor was this concurrence difficult, since the love which impelled to redemption; burned with equal intensity in the hearts of each. The promise of eternal life was indeed made by the Father, but it was not exclusively his. It was equally expressive of the goodness of both the other persons in the Godhead. And also the life promised was, in its nature, to be the enjoyment no less of the love and favor of the Son, and of the Spirit, than of the Father. When, therefore, John prayed for grace, and peace, for the churches of Asia, he supplicated them not only from “Him who was, and is, and is to come,” that is, the Father, but also from the Holy Ghost, whom he calls on account of the variety and fullness of his gifts, “The seven Spirits which are before the throne;” and “from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the first begotten from the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.” Each was alike interested, since the covenant was in its practical development, to vindicate the right, and to manifest the glory of all. Redemption was, therefore, the result of the united wisdom, and grace, of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

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